PhD Public Finance in Climate and Energy

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 04 Dec 2021

PhD Public Finance in Climate and Energy

The Energy and Technology Policy Group at ETH Zurich, led by Tobias Schmidt, investigates questions related to the governance of energy and climate transitions. Our interdisciplinary team with backgrounds in economics, engineering and political science offers an entrepreneurial research atmosphere at continental Europe’s leading research university.

Job description

We are looking for a PhD candidate with a keen research interest in the role of public finance in tackling climate change. The position will focus on analysing the role of public investment vehicles in both the developed and the developing world using mixed methods.

We offer an inclusive work culture, excellent working conditions and a salary in accordance with the Swiss National Science Foundation PhD regulation. During your PhD, you will have the opportunity to attend international academic conferences and workshops and you are encouraged to co-supervise master students in your research domain. You will have access to the key databases required to conduct the research, however, most likely, we will also collect novel data as part of the research. You will contribute actively to the research agenda of the group, which collaborates with a variety of academic and policy institutions, such as the Institute for Innovation and Public Policy (IIPP) at UCL, UC Berkeley, CMU, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, University of St. Gallen, IRENA, IEA or UNDP.

Our offices are located in downtown Zurich. The working language is English and you are expected to complete your PhD within 3-4 years. The starting date is negotiable, a start in January 2022 is preferred.

Your profile

You are enthusiastic about using the lever of public finance for a net-zero world. You hold a Master’s degree in public policy, economics, political science, or in a related field. Interdisciplinary candidates are welcome. A focus and experience in climate and energy finance would be a strong asset.

You should be dedicated to scientifically rigorous work that at the same time is relevant to policy makers. Experience with quantitative and qualitative methods (both empirical covering large-n datasets and data elicitation or exploration via interviews) is preferable, because the project will likely require mixed-methods approaches.

You should feel comfortable interacting with senior professionals in the finance industry (with support from the group). Your working style is collaborative and team-oriented and you have strong communication skills. You are highly proficient in English; further language skills are an additional asset.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.


We look forward to receiving your online application including the following documents:

  • Letter of motivation (1 page)
  • CV (max. 3 pages)
  • Research statement giving an overview of your research interests and ideas (1-2 pages)
  • Contact information of two references (no letters needed at this point, please include it in our CV)
  • Your graded university diplomas or transcripts

Application deadline: 23 November 2021, 24:00 CET.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the Energy and Technology Policy Group can be found on our website . For further information regarding the position, please reach out to Dr Florian Egli (do not send application documents).

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

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